Safety Funding, Welfare Exemption, an Industry Survey and a New Minister

This week Diesel News includes safety funding, welfare exemption and a new minister.

The National Heavy Vehicle Regulator has joined forces with the Australian Trucking Association’s Safety Truck to drive children to become more aware of safety around heavy vehicles. NHVR CEO Sal Petroccitto announced the sponsorship of the Volvo ATA Safety Truck, powered by BP, protected by NTI program at Browns Plains State School in Queensland.

Safety Funding, Welfare Exemption, an Industry Survey and a New Minister

“We’re pleased to be able to support this program and bring the Safety Truck message to schools like Browns Plains to educate children on what trucks mean to them and how to safely behave around them,” said Petroccitto. “At the NHVR we believe it is vital for the community to have positive relationship with the heavy vehicle industry, because we need them and they need us.

“We want the community to have an understanding of what role this industry plays in their everyday life.”

In 2016, the Safety Truck visited 15 schools across the country, directly engaging with up to 3000 primary and secondary school students. The Truck also participated in over 30 events throughout the year, highlighting that road safety is an essential message at any age. The NHVR will provide $5000 sponsorship per year for four years.

“The ATA is pleased the NHVR is taking the opportunity to build on its commitment to road safety investment,” said Noelene Watson, ATA Chair.

Safety Funding, Welfare Exemption, an Industry Survey and a New Minister

The National Livestock Welfare Work and Rest Exemption (Notice) 2017 (No.1) is set to allow Standard Hours and BFM drivers in NSW, VIC, QLD, SA, TAS and ACT carrying cattle, sheep, goats, pigs, horses, poultry, emus, ostrich, alpaca, deer, camel or buffalo up to 1 hour additional driving time to address threats to animal welfare.

The notice can be used on consecutive days, but it does not increase total permitted driving hours over longer counting periods. Drivers must increase the duration of their next long rest break by twice the amount of any additional driving time used. Written records must also be kept by the driver for on-road enforcement purposes.

According to Kevin Keenan, the Australian Livestock Rural Transporters Association National President, the NHVR has shown it understands the needs of different sectors and is prepared to forge ahead with a nationally consistent approach.

“The demands of livestock transport are like no other part of the road freight sector,” said Keenan. “While the HVNL stipulates work and rest rules for heavy vehicle drivers, the Australian Animal Welfare Standards and Guidelines for Land Transport of Livestock, concurrently stipulate maximum periods that water may be withheld from live animals as well as other requirements such as unloading livestock promptly after arriving at a destination.

“Unforeseen circumstances can sometimes prevent a driver from reaching a suitable destination to unload livestock within generally permitted driving hours.

“ALRTA has worked closely with the NHVR to develop a sensible national animal welfare notice that provides drivers of heavy vehicles carrying livestock with limited flexibility for the purpose of managing animal welfare requirements in unusual or unforeseen circumstances.

“If a driver is less than one hour from a suitable unloading site, this notice will enable that driver to reach the destination and safely and humanely unload the livestock rather than keeping them in the vehicle during a long rest break.”

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A reshuffle in the Queensland Government has seen the appointment of Jackie Trad as the new Queensland Transport Minister. She replaces the former minister, Stirling Hinchliffe.

 

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Author: Tim Giles

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